|The hospital was officially founded in the fall of 1888. Dean T. Wagner, the pastor of St. Alphonsus Church at the time was concerned about the black people who had migrated from southern U.S. to his parish. Dean Wagner felt these children were neglected by the white people. Black children were not admitted to white schools and many of them were orphaned.
Dean Wagner wanted to organize a mission for black people. For this he needed funds. After receiving permission from the Bishop he sent out circular letters asking for donations of a dime or more for his mission. The Bishop had given him a list of the names of people who might be approached.
One of these letters reached the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph in Montreal. Mother Bonneau, Superior at the time, was so touched by his devotion that she sent him $2.50 adding that if he contemplated building a hospital in Windsor they would be happy to help in this enterprise.
At this time in Windsor, there had been talk of building a hospital but there was a lack of interest as well as the necessary funds to operate a hospital. Dean Wagner seized this opportunity to invite the RHSJ to come to Windsor to establish a hospital and to teach the black children as a secondary objective. After much deliberation between city officials, the Bishop and the Sisters from Montreal, Mother Bonneau from Montreal accompanied by Sr. Josephine Paquet came to Windsor. Six lots of vacant land on Ouellette Avenue were purchased.
On September 14, 1888, five sisters arrived from Montreal to look after the sick, the poor and with a secondary objective of teaching black children.
Construction of the hospital began October 10, 1888 and the official blessing took place on Sunday, October 15, 1889 and opened in February 1890. The 1888 building was of Norman style architecture with three turrets and the total cost was approximately $40,000.00. The three-story brick building had a capacity of 100 beds. It was demolished in 1963.
The orphanage and school for the black children were opened in 1890. Due to low enrolment this type of apostolic work was not very successful and was discontinued after four years. However, it was important because the interest in this work led to the establishment of a hospital by the Sisters in Windsor. The first visiting nurses in Windsor were the Hôtel-Dieu nuns.
The Sisters took care of some patients in their home, since hospitals were not very popular and were very expensive as well. The average cost per patient was $1.00 per day.
The first year 126 patients were admitted. The first surgical operation was performed in 1890 on a homemade operating table.
The first ambulance in Windsor was obtained in 1891 at the cost of $450.00.
Additional beds were added as the need arose in 1910, 1927, 1938, 1952 and 1962 increasing the bed capacity to 450 beds.
In 1907 a School of Nursing was opened within the hospital to provide facilities for the education and training of nurses. In 1945, the Jeanne Mance School of Nursing was opened because of an increase in nurses but had to close in 1973 when the government decreed that all nurses training would be done in community colleges. From 1907 to 1973, more than 1,868 nurses graduated from the Jeanne Mance School of Nursing.
Today, the School of Nursing houses the Regional Dialysis Unit, the Business Office, Health Records, Information Services, and the Human Resources Department.
In 2001, there was an addition of Diagnostic Imaging and Treatment Centre which houses Diagnostic Imaging, Emergency Room and the Operating Room.
History of Grace Hospital
Catherine and William Booth, the founders of The Salvation Army, committed themselves to Ministering to the unchurched, poverty stricken and the sick masses in London, England around 1863. William Booth's first thought was to conduct a mission and to send his converts to the churches. This did not work out and consequently his first mission was born (East London Revival Society) which eventually gave rise to the birth of The Salvation Army.
As early as 1884 one woman Salvationist in particular was so touched by the helpless and pitiable condition of a young girl with nowhere to go that she opened her home to her and offered shelter and protection to her and others. The Army recognized the value and great need of such a service and the first of many rescue homes opened its doors. In 1886 rescue work began in Toronto, Canada, followed by the opening of several similar homes across the country. Many of these developed into maternity homes and hospitals.
In 1918 Windsor was an expanding community. The fast growing auto industry dominated the manufacturing scene and Sandwich Street was the main artery of commercial and retail business. Other parts of the City to the south showed signs of sprouting new establishments, but the river front remained the focus.
One pressing need remained unmet - the need for hospital beds. The city's one hospital at the time although doing a meaningful job, was unable to meet the demand. Medical men pleaded long and eloquently. The Salvation Army listened and responded. It was able to purchase the former Ellis home at Crawford and London Street, a substantial residence of a prominent Windsor family. This was first planned to be exclusively a maternity hospital, as were other Army hospitals in Canada. However, the need for general hospital care was so great, the plans were changed and the city soon had its second general hospital, open to all.
The small building's 28 beds soon proved inadequate. Ravages of an influenza epidemic accentuated the problem of hospital need. In 1922 a new wing was added which increased the capacity to 122 beds.
In 1942 a new South Wing was opened which provided an additional 80 beds. This included a new Paediatric Unit, new medical/surgical beds, classrooms and library for students and a formula room. During this period five homes were purchased in the area for future development of a Nurses' Residence.
The North Wing was opened in January 1945 providing additional beds for medical/surgical and obstetrical patients.
On June 6, 1960 fire destroyed a large part of the hospital and proved conclusively that the oldest part of the hospital with its wooden interior was now obsolete. Approval was gained to erect a new air-conditioned wing of five stories.
The new wing was officially opened in September 1966. All that remained of the original hospital was the central door of the Ellis home. This was enshrined in the main Lobby area of the 1966 wing.
During the mid seventies, the Ministry of Health strongly emphasized the rationalization of duplicated services in hospitals. Grace Hospital had preceded this in 1972 by forming an 'In Common Laboratory'. The Paediatric Department of our hospital was closed and we were designated as the Regional High Risk Perinatal Unit. Newly renovated space became the home of the Regional Renal Dialysis Unit.
A 25-bed Chronic Care Unit was established in the North Wing in 1979.
In 1981 an ultramodern Cardiac Care Unit was opened in the area, which had formerly been part of the Paediatric Unit.
As a result of the decision to rationalize hospital services and in keeping with our philosophy of preparedness to adequately meet the needs of the community, an additional expansion and renovation project was approved and work began in February 1980.
The major part of this project was the new West Wing which added approximately 54,000 square feet of much needed space to house the Perinatal Unit, Emergency, Rehabilitation, Respiratory Therapy and Materials Management Departments in modern expanded facilities with one level for future expansion of Health Records, Surgical Day Care and Social Service when funding became available. The West Wing was officially opened in March 1985.
Coincident with the hospital's opening there came the need to train nurses. The school of Nursing operated for 53 years from 1920 to 1973 and graduated 1,529 nurses who have spread the ministry of caring to all corners of the world. The student nurses were housed in several homes purchased by the hospital until the Nurses' Residence was opened in 1954.
This building now houses the Department of Education, Business Office, part of Health Records Department and provides storage of many important departmental documents. It is named the 'Brett building' after a former Executive Director, Brigadier Alice M. Brett, who, in spite of the depression years, was to prove the spark which ignited much of the expansion of the hospital.
The decision of the Ontario government to transfer Nursing Education from hospitals to Community Colleges resulted in closing The Grace Hospital School of Nursing in 1973.
The Grace Site was closed February 1, 2004.
In mid 1991 the Chief Executive Officers from the RHSJ Health Centre and The Salvation Army Grace Hospital began meeting to discuss the advantages of sharing services. At first the economies that would result were the driving force. However, very early on it became apparent that our values and mission were very similar and from then on were front and center as we planned and worked together to form one organization. On December 1, 1993 after two years of planning and discussion, an official Alliance Agreement was signed between the RHSJ Health Centre and The Salvation Army Grace Hospital. This alliance to be effective April 1, 1994, is believed to be the first such agreement of this scope ever signed in Canada. Consequently, the three facilities, The Salvation Army Grace Hospital, Hôtel-Dieu of St. Joseph Hospital and Villa Maria Home For the Aged, will be operated under one corporate structure, one Board, on Chief Executive Officer, one Medical Advisory Committee, one medical staff and one budget, with both hospitals eventually operating at one site on Ouellette Avenue in downtown Windsor.As a result of these operational mergers, there is greater opportunity for all three facilities to strengthen and support one another in order to ensure that their original mission is carried on through the collaboration of those who are willing to serve as “partners in mission” in relief of human suffering in its many forms.
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital is a partner with Catholic Health International. Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital Mission
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital is a health care community that is inspired by Jesus Christ's healing ministry, respecting the sanctity of life. Our compassionate hearts and competent hands will care for the body, mind and spiritual well-being of our diverse community.
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital Values
RespectWe recognize that all persons are created in the image of God and all persons are unique and dignified regardless of race, creed or religion. We respect their capacity to know, to love and to choose freely and to determine the direction of their lives, and in particular, their ability to make informed decisions concerning their personal care.
CompassionWe are driven by the love of our neighbour to respond with empathy to each person's needs.
TeamworkWe behave in ways that generate trust, build confidence, and enhance performance.
StewardshipWe are responsible to manage the affairs and resources of the Health Centre ethically, creatively and with accountability.